Greetings Landlubbers…YE awoke to a magnificent, if a bit fresh, Great Keppel Island morning at 0630. Overnight the Youth Crew had taken their responsibilities of keeping the ship safe during anchor watches seriously…good to know they can be entrusted with such responsibility. After a quick game to get the minds and bodies warmed up, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast on the upper decks. At 0800 it was time to raise the flags, accompanied by all belting out the National Anthem. After hearing from Sailmaster Guv, Salty Adam, and myself, it was time for a dip and the pool was opened. Happy Hour followed, then James (Bagaz) gave his Navigation Brief. After another delicious lunch (we really are spoilt by the quality of food on here) it was time to weigh anchor and at 1245 we departed for Heron Island. Once clear of the Keppel Group, another round of rope races (focusing on the yard braces and mainsail) entertained all and then after some down time we completed rotational tacks, where each of the watches rotate through all the tacking station positions to familiarise themselves with all the requirements for tacking a tall ship. On completion we rolled into overnight watches in relatively calm conditions…but I’ll let White Watch tell you more. Until tomorrow…fair winds, Captain Kenny……..
Day 4: What are we doing here? Drifting in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sea dogs that smell worse and worse every day. Two 90 second washes a day are they kidding? I got up at 0500 this morning, others werenâ€™t so lucky, Nick had watch from 0100-0200 and Gabby had watch from 0200-0300. The crew are beginning to tire out quicker, these longer working hours are certainly taking their toll on our youth crew. Thank god we weâ€™re at anchor in the beautiful bay of Great Keppel Island. As weâ€™d already had our journey to shore the day before, we had a quick dip into the turquoise water via rope swing off the boat as well as through a leap of faith over the bow sprint. It was certainly enough to liven the spirits of the crew. Even our old mate Captain Kenny made an Olympic level dive off the starboard side. Just after lunch, Young Endeavour left the bay to resume its 11 day voyage to Brisbane. With the promise of another island stop the next day, the crew heaved and hauled ropes and sails to set us on our course to Heron Island.
Watches commenced throughout the evening, our first watch was instigated to be from 1800-2000, our second would be from 0400-0800, by then we should have our next destination in our sights.
Nick, along with many others, constantly mention their desire to see their families again, time away from home hits hard as the voyage grows longer.
White watch is becoming quite the family, its good to see that we all get along and genuinely care about the other members. We all seem to share well in our workloads and its quite becoming to see the support some of our more confident members give to our wallflowers when it comes to tacking positions. Everyone seems to have a go at everything.
I wonâ€™t forget Chef Marcusâ€™s food, especially the cookieâ€™s and cream cheese cake. Nor will I forget these people, theyâ€™ve been home for me these past few days, through thick and thin, and sick and health.
Signing off, hopefully not for the last time,
Emily Frost, Gabrielle Taylor and Nick Kimber of White Watch onboard the STS Young Endeavour
Wind: NE at 12 knots Weather: Fine and Clear Swell: E at 0.5m Location: Enroute Heron Island
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Day 2 found the ship tucked away nice and snug in the lee of the lovely, Mud Island in Moreton Bay. Hands were called at 0630 and the youth crew's presence was kindly requested topside for a bit of move and shake, for our first early morning activity. Then it was away to wash and eat before morning brief took place on the bridge after the formalities of our Colours ceremony at 0800. Dion hatched the plan for the day and then Theresa (our lifesaving and safety equipment expert) took charge for a collective closer look at said lifesaving equipment. Whilst that was happening, remaining staff weighed anchor under a gorgeous blue and sun drenched day and we commenced our pilotage out of Moreton Bay - with Emma the Navigator as our trusty Pilot. Once Theresa had completed her briefing, youth crew turned-to cleaning stations, or as we call it, "happy hour". Whales, turtles and dolphins frolicked as we sailed past them and then out into the Coral Sea we went. A large cargo ship tooted their horn, 'adieu', and we responded in kind. All the while our sea puppies set and furled the sails, had a wee break for lunch, then continued with same all afternoon. Finally, when watch leaders gave me the nod, I gave Dion a wink and he called the ship to tacking stations. Ladies and gents, boys and girls, it was with almost mechanical precision that this youth crew of ours, performed their duties in a well oiled fashion, and they did tack this ship, back and forth, several times to drill and practice the required actions to manouevre this beautiful ship through the wind. I was well impressed. Bravo I said, then Dion stood them down for half an hour. Dinner was taken at 1715, then the youth crew turned-to sea watches, to assist with navigational safety overnight, whilst the others slept soundly. Each watch would take a four hour trick to follow the navigation plan by helm, keep lookout duties and conduct hourly rounds throughout the night. Additionally they would consolidate sail handling and climbing procedures. If they didn't know, now they know - This here is a working ship and we have no passengers embarked. Captain Adam Charlie Farley+